The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) hosted for the first time the National Association of Filipino Off- Roaders’ (NAsFOR) 1st Luzon Regional Leg 4×4 Challenge last February 11-12 in Paoay, Ilocos Norte.
Dubbed as Explore Ilocos Norte Extreme 4×4 Challenge, PGIN welcomed at least nine teams with a total of 36 individual participants coming from the different parts of the country for the two- day event.
On day one, the challengers competed for the elimination round through a 4- km rigid combination of mud pits, mounds, and turns where 20 out of the 36 participants only made it to the final round.
On the following day, the final round was set on a more challenging track for the finalists where Edison “Ton-Ton” Dungca of the Angeles City (Pampanga) 4-Wheel Drive Club, Inc. topped the challenge, besting 35 other off road racers with an impressive overall time of 22 minutes, 52:63 seconds.
Despite a poor 5th place showing on day one, Dungca made up for lost time by finishing day two with an impressive 9:52:63 seconds followed by the lone woman contestant Maila Alivia of Isabela Extreme with a remarkable 13:41.92 seconds and finished second overall with a time of 29:25.11
Another member of Isabela Extreme Bong Collado landed third with an overall finish time of 37:48.52.
Gov. Imee R. Marcos, who is actively rebranding Ilocos Norte as a destination for sports tourism, expressed her pleasure over the outcome of the first event of this kind held in the province.
Marcos also thanked the 36 racers who came from as far as Bicol, making the event a huge success.
Participants from different provinces included racers from the Angeles City 4-Wheel Drive Club, Pampanga Off-Roaders Club, Bicol Off-Roaders Club, Land Cruiser Club of the Philippines (Manila), Santiago Extreme, Cauayan Off-Road Club, Isabela Extreme.
On the other hand, local off road riders who participated in the event include off- roaders from Batac and Paoay, the LEAD Movement, and the Pinakbet Group. Ronald Yapo of Batac, Ilocos Norte finished 12th overall in the championship round. (Florante A. Nicolas, PGIN- CMO)